This I Believe

Carmen - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 24, 2007

I Believe in Fiction

At times, it is wonderful to leave my mundane and mediocre life, and escape to a fictional world that is more exciting and more beautiful than my own. This world is ungoverned by laws or even gravity, magical and mysterious. It is one that fits neatly within 300 pages or about an hour and a half.

Within that world, I am in a different situation. I am someone else: someone more beautiful, more clever. I forget I’m watching in a theater with a sticky floor, or hunched over a book in an uncomfortable chair.

For a time, I am that courageous fictional person, until the credits start to role up, or until I reach the last page. I read the copyrights and the editor’s notes just to hold onto that world a little longer, before admitting that it is gone.

I sit up and reality comes crashing down (or perhaps just stumbles undramatically). I have unfinished math homework to attend to and a dreaded Psychology test to study for. I yearn to be back in the world I just left. It’s like a highly addictive drug.

I trudge back to my mediocre life, more unsatisfied with it than when I started my fictional Journey.

Getting up, I realize how impossible my silly wish had been. I could not possibly live like the people I had just watched. I am not smart, not brave, not beautiful, not fit for any sort of action packed and dangerous adventure.

But when I make it to my desk and start to work on my Pre-calculus, I come to the conclusion that I would not really want to live like the courageous people in books and movies. After really thinking about it, I realized that I was glad, even relived, that I was not in those situations. I’m bored, it is true, but safe and relatively happy.

The world was not ending, nor was it up to me to save it. I don’t have to worry the least about being married off to anyone, and (very importantly) I do not have to Kill Voldemort.

I get to watch and listen to other people do things, while I live my life, safe and far away from their world.

I believe in Fiction.